Eddie Hearn eyeing Stadium of Light mega-fight for Sunderland fan Josh Kelly

One of boxing’s most powerful promoters has reiterated his desire to bring a world title fight to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.

Friday, 14th February 2020, 5:00 pm
David Avanesyan and Josh Kelly at a press conference announcing their European welterweight title fight on the 28th March at the O2 Arena, London. (Photo courtesy of Mark Robinson and Matchroom Boxing)

Eddie Hearn believes highly-rated Rhyope-born pugilist Josh Kelly – part of his Matchroom Boxing stable – must eventually fight for a world title at the Stadium of Light.

Kelly, a former Olympian as an amateur, remains undefeated in the professional ranks with ten wins and a contentious draw against Ray Robinson on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s shock loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden last June.

On March 28, the 25-year-old will face David Avanesyan at the O2 in London, with the EBU European welterweight title up for grabs.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Avanesyan, 31, represents a big step-up for ‘Pretty Boy’ Kelly. However, a victory against the Russian, who is ranked in the top ten by multiple world governing bodies, could lead to a world title shot

Should Kelly emerge as the winner in March, Hearn admits the Stadium of Light will have to be in consideration to host a potential megafight.

"We've had a hell of a ride together and Josh has fought on some huge undercards on his way up,” Hearn said.

“Wembley, the O2, Cardiff, Madison Square... This is now his first big headline show against Avanesyan and then we can look to take him forward again.

"For Josh, the goal absolutely has to be Sunderland. Hopefully a world title fight. We must have a fight at the Stadium of Light. We must."